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Get to Know the National Association of Health Unit Coordinators

By: Lindsay McKay

Published On: January 20, 2022

We are excited to share that Ashton College’s unit clerk program is an education partner program with the National Association of Health Unit Coordinators (NAHUC). After students have graduated from either the online unit clerk certificate program or the in-class unit clerk certificate program, they can apply to join the association and become certified by passing the Health Unit Coordinator Certification Examination. Read on to learn more about the NAHUC, the certification process, and why certification is so important for the health unit clerk profession.  

History and Role of the NAHUC 

The National Association of Health Unit Coordinators (NAHUC) is currently the only professional association for health unit coordinators. In the spring of 1980, a group of unit coordinators and unit managers became the founding members of the NAHUC. Standardized education and recognition of health unit coordinators and unit clerks as health professionals were the two concerns of the NAHUC. In June of 1982, the first NAHUC annual national convention was held in San Antonio, Texas. It was at this convention that the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice for unit coordinating were adopted. In May of 1983, the first National Certification Examination was administered. By the end of 1991, approximately 15,000 health unit coordinators had become certified. It is due to the work of the NAHUC that today health unit coordinating is a health profession.  

The role of the NAHUC and their mission is to promote health unit coordinating as a profession through education and certification as well as sharing and updating the NAHUC Standards of Practice, Standards of Education and Code of Ethics. The NAHUC provides education resources including: 

  • Quizzes that include hours towards recertification 
  • Lending library in both a virtual and traditional sense of online webinars and continuing education CDs and DVDs – answering post-test questions must be submitted to earn hours 

 

 

Certification Process 

Any health care professional can become a member of the NAHUC, but only if you are a current health care coordinator, have completed a nursing unit clerk program, or your work involves completing health unit coordinating activities, can you sit down for the Health Unit Coordinator Certification Examination. The NAHUC has broken the process down into three steps: 

  1. Get informed 
  2. Study and study some more 
  3. Register for your exam 

Step one includes your education in a unit clerk course, work experience, and the NAHUC has created a Health Unit Coordinator Certification Exam Candidate Handbook that outlines the material to be tested, a list of study materials, and sample test questions. 

In step two, study, NAHUC encourages candidates to review their notes from school and they have also provided resources including a practice 50 question multiple-choice exam, as well as provide four learning modules based on the exam content – members get a significant discount on the materials. The lowest membership fee is for new student members, so if you are planning to get these materials it is recommended to become a member while in school. 

The final step is to register for the examination which can be taken at Ashton Testing Services or any PSI Centre. The exam consists of 120 questions: 20 pre-test non-scored items and 100 scored items. The examination is designed as a nationally administered comprehensive job-related objective examination and its goal is to measure knowledge and skills in areas of job performance that the NAHUC Certification Board regards as essential. 

Recertification 

Like all certifications, it is important there is a recertification process as ongoing learning in an evolving industry such as health unit coordinating is essential. Recertification is required every three years and can be granted in one of two ways: 

  1. By providing proof to the NAHUC Certification Board of having acquired thirty-six NAHUC contact hours for various educational activities during the three-year period. 
  2. Or through passing the certification examination before your certification expiration date. 

So, why is certification so important? It is two-fold: it provides a way to validate that unit clerk coordinators' knowledge is current and shows employees and other health care professionals that unit clerks are actively seeking professional development and want to improve their performance. 

Next Steps 

If you are interested in learning more about what a day in the life of a unit clerk is or what are some of the options you have after taking a unit clerk course, we have blogs about these topics. Apply now to be in the next class intake to be an integral part of the health care team.  

 

Disclaimer 

The information contained in this post is considered true and accurate as of the publication date. However, the accuracy of this information may be impacted by changes in circumstances that occur after the time of publication. Ashton College assumes no liability for any error or omissions in the information contained in this post or any other post in our blog. 

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